In the West, the demand for organic skincare, along with Korean beauty regimens (popularly referred to as K-beauty), has spawned a new trend. K-beauty has boosted sales of fermented beauty products. These products are supposed to be good for the skin while also being good for the environment.
According to Future Market Insights report on fermented ingredients, demand grew 7.3% to exceed $39.2 billion last year. The market is expected to reach $74.5 billion by 2031; that’s a CAGR of 6.6%. The gains are driven by growing capacity from major manufacturers, as well as new entrants to the category.
People all over the world are fascinated with the skin of Koreans who are known for their flawless skin, with less pigmentation, less pimples, overall healthy skin. It’s no surprise that the world is obsessed with Korean skincare products and routine.
Skincare in Korea is a multi-step technique that has recently attracted a lot of interest in the beauty industry. Korean beauty is known for her layering technique, which is a very thoughtful and thorough approach to skin care. Korea has been reaping the benefits of fermentation in its beauty regimen for several years when most of us only knew about its health benefits through food and drink consumption. After the emergence of the concept of fermented beauty, we learned that when applied topically, a similar process will develop in skin cells, which will improve the condition of the skin.
Fermentation is a centuries-old method of decomposing organic substances under the action of enzymes generated by microorganisms. This process is important in various parts of the world, especially in Asia. Enzymes, bacteria and yeasts cause basic elements or substances to break down, converting them into much more powerful components.
These procedures are well known in food and beverage with widespread awareness of the health benefits of fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir. However, in the recent past, the Korean beauty industry has started to apply the same understanding to its latest skincare lines, with obvious results. This is how the expression “fermented beauty” was born.
Fermented substances in skincare provide a wide range of benefits, including improved skin radiance, reduced wrinkles, and overall skin health. The major benefits of using fermented beauty products are probiotic-enhanced sun protection, and the skin’s microbiota is enhanced by fermented oils. When chemicals are broken down during fermentation, the smaller the molecules, the deeper they penetrate into the skin. Fermented beauty products increase the concentration of active ingredients in the skin and allow them to penetrate deeper. In addition, fermented treatments are gentler on the skin than traditional treatments. This is because its contents have been broken down, making it suitable for people with sensitive skin.
These products work wonders for fine lines and wrinkles – products that contain amino acids which are the building blocks of protein, when used topically can help with hydration, collagen formation and firm the skin.
Studies have shown that fermented red ginseng, another well-known ingredient in fermented beauty products, improves skin luminosity and radiance. Other ingredients like yeast stimulate collagen production and soy produces more hyaluronic acid. Sake extracts, again very popular, are essentially probiotics. When applied topically, they help maintain a healthy skin barrier, preventing issues such as dry skin, acne, irritation, and even eczema.
The Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask is a well-known product in the market due to its key ingredient Kombucha. Kombucha is a powerful antioxidant that fights wrinkle-causing free radicals while softening, smoothing, and increasing shine. Other ingredients in this product include lychee seed extract, known to boost natural collagen, firming polysaccharides that help smooth the skin, and jicama root juice, known for its moisturizing and nourishing effects.
The Gallinée brand, expert in prebiotics, offers a hair cleansing cream with fermented rice the water , a popular therapy for hair growth and hair loss prevention widely practiced in Korea. An added benefit of these fermented ingredients is that they also improve the shelf life of these cosmetic compositions.
The fermented ingredient industry has already gained widespread notoriety and is on the verge of a major growth spurt supported by a growing preference for safe, organic and naturally derived products. In addition, this market will benefit from the fact that consumers turn to more environmentally friendly products and make wise choices in this regard. Beyond skincare, several cosmetic manufacturers are also exploring fermented ingredients.
The Gen Z and Millennial generations are the most likely consumers of these products due to their focus on health care and organic skin care, they are also willing to spend higher sums on effective products at the to come up.
The fermented beauty market will also benefit from growing e-commerce and D2C sales as more manufacturers woo consumers online. While such products are raging in the Asian market, in the next five years, the global market will open up enormously to Korean fermented products in beauty!
About the Author
Sneha Varghese is an experienced research professional and senior research consultant with certified market research and advisory firm ESOMAR Future Market Insights (FMI). FMI is headquartered in Dubai and has offices in the United States, United Kingdom and India. MarketNgage is FMI’s market research subscription platform that helps stakeholders get in-depth research on industries, markets and niche segments. You can connect with Sneha on LinkedIn.
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